Photos: 1857 Meerut mutiny museum awaits freedom from neglect | Hindustan Times
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Photos: 1857 Meerut mutiny museum awaits freedom from neglect

Updated On Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

Located in the city of Meerut, just about 60 km from Delhi, the Government Freedom Struggle Museum is dedicated to highlighting the role Meerut played in the Revolt of 1857, India’s first war of Independence. Ironically, as the country gears up to celebrate yet another Independence Day, the museum stands as a symbol of government neglect and apathy. Run by the Uttar Pradesh Museum Directorate, the museum has faced neglect and a resource crunch from the very beginning.

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The Government Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut lies in a state of utter neglect. Located in the NCR city of Meerut, just about 60 km from Delhi, the museum is dedicated to highlighting the role Meerut played in the Revolt of 1857, India’s first war of Independence. Ironically, as the country gears up to celebrate yet another Independence Day, the museum stands as a symbol of government neglect and apathy. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

The Government Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut lies in a state of utter neglect. Located in the NCR city of Meerut, just about 60 km from Delhi, the museum is dedicated to highlighting the role Meerut played in the Revolt of 1857, India’s first war of Independence. Ironically, as the country gears up to celebrate yet another Independence Day, the museum stands as a symbol of government neglect and apathy. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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Damaged ceiling seen inside Government Freedom Struggle Museum. The museum was set up in 1997 by the Uttar Pradesh government to highlight Meerut’s role in the 1857 revolt. While the stated objective of the museum is to collect, preserve, document, and exhibit objects related to the Sepoy Mutiny, all it has on display are a few dozen paintings related to the Revolt, photocopies of a few photographs, a couple of dioramas and a few relief works . (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

Damaged ceiling seen inside Government Freedom Struggle Museum. The museum was set up in 1997 by the Uttar Pradesh government to highlight Meerut’s role in the 1857 revolt. While the stated objective of the museum is to collect, preserve, document, and exhibit objects related to the Sepoy Mutiny, all it has on display are a few dozen paintings related to the Revolt, photocopies of a few photographs, a couple of dioramas and a few relief works . (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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Freedom fighter Mangal Pandey’s statute that has developed cracks, at Government Freedom Struggle Museum. It was formally inaugurated on May 10, 2007, to commemorate the 150th year of the first War of Independence. Even the time of inauguration--5pm—was high on symbolism as the Mutiny is said to have started around 5 pm on May 10, 1857. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

Freedom fighter Mangal Pandey’s statute that has developed cracks, at Government Freedom Struggle Museum. It was formally inaugurated on May 10, 2007, to commemorate the 150th year of the first War of Independence. Even the time of inauguration--5pm—was high on symbolism as the Mutiny is said to have started around 5 pm on May 10, 1857. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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While a similar sorry state of affairs prevails in many museums across the country, ironically, the Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut is in a particularly pathetic condition — a large number of track lights to illuminate the exhibits are not working; in one of the galleries the false ceiling has come off, leaving a gaping hole; the air conditioners have not been working for many years; and the museum gets very few visitors. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

While a similar sorry state of affairs prevails in many museums across the country, ironically, the Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut is in a particularly pathetic condition — a large number of track lights to illuminate the exhibits are not working; in one of the galleries the false ceiling has come off, leaving a gaping hole; the air conditioners have not been working for many years; and the museum gets very few visitors. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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“I had to go out for some administrative work. I have no choice; there are only two people running the museum,” the curator Pataru Maurya said, when asked why the museum was closed on a day and time when it is supposed to be open for visitors. “The museum is in dire need of staff and modernisation in terms of display and lighting techniques; it also requires better a collection and security. But I can undertake all of this only if I have funds,” he adds. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

“I had to go out for some administrative work. I have no choice; there are only two people running the museum,” the curator Pataru Maurya said, when asked why the museum was closed on a day and time when it is supposed to be open for visitors. “The museum is in dire need of staff and modernisation in terms of display and lighting techniques; it also requires better a collection and security. But I can undertake all of this only if I have funds,” he adds. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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Artefacts are seen inside the Government Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

Artefacts are seen inside the Government Freedom Struggle Museum in Meerut. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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“We did not have any visual documents of the Revolt. A committee comprising local historians selected important and lesser-known episodes from the mutiny in Meerut and commissioned paintings based on these episodes,” says Manoj Gautam, the first curator of the museum. “I think both the government and the private sector should work together to modernise this museum, which has an important purpose of educating people about Meerut’s important role in freedom struggle,” he adds. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

“We did not have any visual documents of the Revolt. A committee comprising local historians selected important and lesser-known episodes from the mutiny in Meerut and commissioned paintings based on these episodes,” says Manoj Gautam, the first curator of the museum. “I think both the government and the private sector should work together to modernise this museum, which has an important purpose of educating people about Meerut’s important role in freedom struggle,” he adds. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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Many people rue the fact that while Meerut is so close to the capital of the country, and is often visited by state and central ministers, who never get tired of talking about Meerut’s role in the Revolt. But no one has bothered to take steps to modernise the museum. “It is not just the neglect of a museum, but a disregard for the history of the Independence movement. It is high time the central government took over this museum,” Amit Pathak, a city-based scholar said. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo) expand-icon View Photos in a new improved layout
Updated on Aug 15, 2019 01:06 PM IST

Many people rue the fact that while Meerut is so close to the capital of the country, and is often visited by state and central ministers, who never get tired of talking about Meerut’s role in the Revolt. But no one has bothered to take steps to modernise the museum. “It is not just the neglect of a museum, but a disregard for the history of the Independence movement. It is high time the central government took over this museum,” Amit Pathak, a city-based scholar said. (Sanjeev Verma / HT Photo)

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